Remote Control: Saturday July 12, 2014

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If you’ve got anything left, there’s a buyer

David Dickinson brings his Real Deal to Lancashire today, and I reckon his chosen destination, Leigh, can match him in the bargaining stakes.

The event, in which he’ll offer the notoriously tight-fisted Leighers the chance to sell their valuables (the mind boggles) or choose to sell at auction instead, is being filmed and will be broadcast later this year.

The show is just one of many offering an alternative to pay day loan sharks and pawn shops to help families heed off the bailiffs.

There’s Auction House, Cash in the Attic, Flog It!, Bargain Hunt, Car Booty – with Morecambe full-time antique dealer and part-time rock n roller Paul Hayes popping up all over the place.

And it’s going intercontinental – we’re probably weeks away from Calcuttan urchins demonstrating how you can stave off starvation by collecting recyclables off the local tip.

Earlier this year a star of the American show Storage Hunters was in Preston – a madcap show where a host of loons make offers for locked containers and hope for the best.

We put Jesse McClure to the test at Store First, a storage facility on Millennium City Park, off Bluebell Way, and he declared himself a ‘storepod challenge’ winner after blind bidding £100 on a bootful of my belongings that had previosuly been gathering dust in the garage.

His bounty included a Va Va Voom Big Blow Glam Kit, a Soviet era military peaked officer’s hat, a Laotian paddyfield sun hat, a cricket bat (or as he put it a “funny baseball bat or a spanking stick”) and a small collection of vinyl.

We just love the trashy bring and buy show, since the Tesco-isation of the UK, we’re no longer a nation of shopkeepers, we’re a nation of car-boot-salers.

After all, have you seen your heating bill?


And that one per cent rise for the public sector workers won’t pay for decent meals.

Anyway if there’s any programme developers out there I offer you my wife.

Got home on Wednesday and the front path was strewn with what I’d regarded as the chest of drawers from the bedroom, a wardrobe, ladders, a strimmer and an assortment of things that previously had had a use.

Everything is up for sale on a new local sell and buy site under a log in of ‘Holiday Fund’.

As far as I can make out there’s no concrete plans on where my undies and my socks will be stored from now on.

But there are people bobbing round to take away my things, handing over a pittance and interupting the Argentina-Holland match.

And there is a growing kitty of coppers.

It’s like an eBay divorce without separation, accrimony or palimony.

Everything is sold but you remain happily living together, with a pocketful of slummy for the kids to throw into Rhyl’s slot machines.

But if you want to be a TV star, forget spending summer with a gang of misfits in the Big Brother house, just start peddling off your belongings, starting in Leigh today.

Alan Burrows